Meat markets have experienced a rude awakening this week.
Brad Bowman, manager of Block N Blade Butcher Shoppe in Braselton, said the price of chicken has increased by $1.39 a pound, and beef and pork prices have jumped by an average of $2 per pound. He said the hike in cost includes all cuts of meat, even the more expensive ones.
“We’re trying to keep it (prices) as low as we can, but it’s getting harder and harder,” Bowman said. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
Bowman said the cause for the climbing numbers is a combination of meat plants temporarily shutting down because of a staff-related COVID-19 diagnosis, and having to meet the increased demand of food in grocery stores.
“When a plant shuts down for three to four days, it backs everybody’s orders up,” he said.
Luckily, Bowman said Block N Butcher Shoppe has been able to replenish its stock.
Haydee’s Meat Market in Oakwood and The Collegiate Grill in Gainesville have both witnessed a boost in the price of ground beef chuck.
Luis Sepulveda, owner of Haydee’s Meat Market, said ground chuck now costs him an extra 80 cents per pound.
“I wish I didn’t have to go up on the price,” he said. “But I can’t sell it under cost.”
The Collegiate Grill shared in a recent post on its Facebook page, that the ground chuck it receives each morning has jumped 35% in price.
“You too, will see this increase in the grocery stores,” the post stated. “So far, it is actually costing us more to be open Monday-Wednesday than we take in. We have been operating at a significant loss on these days.”
The restaurant decided to temporarily close on Wednesday, April 1, for at least the next two weeks. According to its post on social media, the choice was made for the safety of employees and customers.
“This action directly impacts our family, and our staff,” the post stated. “We have made unemployment insurance available to each of our staff that qualified. We do hope you can understand this decision and we sincerely apologize for any inconveniences.”